Toledo, Spain: a city of Muslims, Jews, and Christians

In central Spain just south of Madrid lies an UNESCO World Heritage site known as Toledo. Sometimes known as the “City of the Three Cultures”, Toledo has a history of Muslim, Christians, and Jews living together. The city has 2,000 years of history.

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The Romans captured the city in 192 BC and later the Visigoths made Toledo their capital. Toledo includes sites made by the Moors, the Jewish people, and Christian monasteries. When Toledo was taken by the Moors, Christians and Jews were still allowed to practice their religions.

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As seen above, Santiago del Arrabal is a mosque that was turned into church in 1245. A lot of the Moorish design remained in the church. One of the designers of the mosque was Jewish and included the Star of David in one of the intricate designs. This is just one example of the mix of architectures you can find in Toledo.

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Another example of Toledo’s vast history is the Alcázar. The Alcázar of Toledo is a 3rd century palace sitting atop the cliffside of Toledo. Originally, it was a palace used for the Romans.

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Throughout the city, there are architectural reminders that three different religions lived among themselves. In divisive times likes these, it is nice to know that there have been times in history in which many people lived together, despite their differences in religion. Toledo is an example of this.

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